As we patiently wait for the iPhone 14 to appear (due next month), a new report suggests that some significant changes could be coming to the software on iPhones and iPads: specifically, more advertising in Apple’s own apps.
This comes through trusted Apple-focused journalist Mark Gurman of Bloomberg, which says Apple is interested in expanding its integrated advertising efforts. Several ads already appear in the News and Stocks apps, as well as the App Store.
These apps could eventually join Apple Maps, as well as the Apple Podcasts and Apple Books apps, according to Gurman. We can also see an expansion in Apple TV Plus content – ads have already started to appear on the platform Friday night baseball coverage, for example.
More ads, more revenue
The reason for the increase in ads is obvious: Apple wants to make more money from them. Ads that already exist in iOS, iPadOS and Apple’s apps currently make about $4 billion a year, according to the Bloomberg report, and the plan is to put that number into double digits.
Local businesses could pay to be featured on Maps, for example, while publishers could pay to have their titles featured more prominently. As per the existing ads, they would not be open to anyone and everyone.
Exactly when the change might start happening is unclear, but it seems unlikely this year. This would require some significant changes on the software side, and iOS 16 and iPad OS 16 are almost ready to be released – so keep an eye out for next year’s Apple software updates for more signs of publicity.
Analysis: Apple may still stick to its privacy promises
Apple has long emphasized its commitment to user privacy and has often highlighted how different it is from Google in terms of the data it collects and the ads it serves. Advertising is where Google makes most of its money, while Apple has traditionally relied on hardware sales.
You may have noticed that Apple is also cracking down on app tracking on iOS and iPadOS, preventing advertisers from tracking users across multiple apps without your explicit permission. This hit the revenue of Facebook, Snap and many other companies.
So how does this all fit into Apple’s potential ad expansion? We’ve seen ads in Apple’s software and it’s clear they work differently than the ads you might get on Google – they’re more like paid sponsorships than typical internet ads.
In other words, you might see a restaurant rank higher on Apple Maps (with an ad label) – you won’t see ads for coaches you were seeing on Amazon last week. Crucially, this means that Apple doesn’t have to collect any extra data from its users, which means it can maintain its strict stance on privacy.